Academic journal article International Journal of Management

The Management of Knowledge by E-Commerce Sites: A Survey of Leading Portals in India

Academic journal article International Journal of Management

The Management of Knowledge by E-Commerce Sites: A Survey of Leading Portals in India

Article excerpt

In the present era of globalization the organizations are applying new ways and methods of doing business. The emerging tool of Management (KM) is now being considered as vital for success in this e-commerce era. Knowledge management and e-commerce are now established business tools for many organizations. KM works as a lever for improving efficiency of the organization and there are different KM models used by the new millennium organizations. In the following paper a survey has been conducted of five leading Indian e-commerce sites and analyzed as to how these sites capture, distribute and share knowledge. It helps the companies to understand their strengths and weaknesses in comparison to others and implement appropriate KM practices for their organization.


Knowledge management is a new inter-disciplinary business model that has knowledge within the framework of an organization as its focus. KM is a process of capturing and making use of a firm's collective expertise anywhere in the business - on paper, in documents, in databases (explicit knowledge) or in people's heads (tacit knowledge). It is being seen as the fuel or raw material for innovation - the only competitive advantage that can sustain a company in fast changing business environment. KM is the systematic management of vital knowledge and its associated processes of creation, organization, diffusion, use and exploitation. It is all about capturing knowledge from where it is available and disseminating to where it is required, thus facilitating knowledge sharing culture in organization.


Special KM models are designed to manage the knowledge cycle between customers and companies in e-commerce environment.

Shwartz Model (2000):

Shwartz developed the Acquisition Organization and Distribution (A.O.D) Model for Knowledge Management. The A.O.D model views Internet-based knowledge management as dealing with three tenets Acquire, Organize and Distribute. Acquisition: How to collect knowledge from members of the organization or other resources and stores that knowledge in an organizational memory.

Organization: structuring indexing and formatting the acquired knowledge.

Distribute: making available the relevant knowledge to the person who needs it at the right time and place.

The three tenets are highly correlated and can fruitfully influence each other. The Acquire, Organize and Disseminate, these steps have potential of turning organization upside down and significantly altering the way organization operate in a particular business environment.

Tiwana's Model (2000):

Amodel that takes into account customer knowledge is a three-phase customer knowledge cycle proposed by Tiwana . He believes that, successful websites were centered on managing customer knowledge.

Tiwana's model consists of three broad phases that run in parallel: acquisition, sharing, and utilization.

(1) Acquisition: Development and creation of insights, skills and relationships supported by data capture tools and information technology.

(2) Sharing: Disseminating and making available what is already acquired «fe known.

(3) Utilization: Integrating learning into the organization by applying, whatever is broadly available throughout the organization.

Fiona Nah & Co. Model (2002)

Another very important KM model is one presented by Fion Nah «fe Co. It is developed considering the customer knowledge in e-commerce and its growing significance in order to remain competitive. Fion, Siau, Tian and Ling Ling developed research model consisting of three components: knowledge acquisition, knowledge dissemination, and knowledge sharing. This model closely resembles that of Tiwana except that Knowledge Dissemination is used in place of Knowledge Utilization. The model for this study is also similar to the one proposed by Schwartz except that, it includes knowledge sharing, a very important knowledge management feature for e-commerce. …

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